Opinion | Op-eds

2011-12 in Review: On socioeconomic and racial inequality

This article is part of a special issue looking back at the 2011-12 academic year. Read the rest of the issue here.

Think about the percentage of Mexicans, Jordanians, Moroccans, or Chileans who could ever hope to study here. They are mostly the people who didn’t have to escape Palestinian refugee camps, fight in Rio’s favelas, or march alongside student protesters in Egypt. Instead, they grew up in the global 1 percent, interacting in academic programs abroad, similar school systems, summer vacations, or boarding schools.
“The global 1 percent,” Andrea Viejo, CC ’15, opinion columnist

In a society that systematically denies the presence and importance of traditionally marginalized communities—in history textbooks, federal government, and top CEO positions—our women and colored faculty mentors were living proof that people from our backgrounds could find success in the academy.
“In favor of Columbia’s diversity initiatives,” Jennifer Alzate, CC ’13, Michelle Rosales, CC ’12, Nataly Sauceda, CC ’12, Devyn Tyler, CC ’13, and Daniel Valella, CC ’12, Mellon Mays undergraduate fellows

By refusing to see meritocracy for what it is—a system that favors whites—we fail to understand why some people are not eager to change it. It enables exclusion of certain groups while trivializing racial disparities as the fault of minority citizens alone.
“Who deserves what?” Jelani Harvey, CC ’12

The college application about "the time I worked 30 hours a week at Wendy’s" doesn’t have quite the same ring as "the time I discovered poverty in Uganda on vacay and made a documentary film about it." This inherently discriminatory practice serves to stymie campus diversity.
“Skin-deep diversity,” Andrew Godinich, CC ’13, opinion columnist


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ShadrachSmith posted on

I missed the part about what we did wrong, exactly?